RailState Freight Rail Capacity Report March 7 - March 13, 2023

Freight Rail Capacity for Trains Moving Westbound to Port of Vancouver

We’ve been reporting on rail capacity westbound into the Port of Vancouver for the last six months.  For most of this period, the railways have appeared to be doing well with westbound movements toward Vancouver.  That pattern continued during the past week.   During the week ended 3/13/2023, the train volumes westbound into Vancouver averaged 29.6 trains/day, a decrease of 0.5 trains/day from the average of 30.1 trains/day during the week ended 3/6.  This was significantly above the average of 25.7 trains/day that is required to move the typical volume of all commodities.
Rail Capacity for Trains Moving Westbound to Port of Vancouver January 2022 - March 13, 2023

Freight Rail Capacity Observations for Week (3/7/2023 – 3/13/2023):

  • The 7-day moving average number of trains moving westbound past Chilliwack was 29.6 trains/day, significantly above the average of 25.7 trains/day that is required to move the typical volume of all commodities.
  • The moving average number of trains/day was above 25.7 trains/day for all 7 days during this past week.
  • During the week ended 3/13/2023, the 7 day moving average for total trains decreased by 0.5 trains/day, falling from 30.1 trains/day as of 3/6 to 29.6 trains/day as of 3/13.

As of 3/13/2023, rail traffic in six of the seven categories we track was at or above its long-term average level. Manifest trains (4.4 trains/day), grain (7.9 trains/day), coal (5.1 trains/day), and other traffic (1.4 trains/day), were all above their 2022 average levels. Intermodal traffic was at its 2022 average level of 7.1 trains/day, breaking a streak of 17 previous weeks during which intermodal traffic had been below the long-term average level. Potash traffic was at its 2022 average level of 1.4 trains/day for the second consecutive week. Only petroleum traffic (2.1 trains/day) was below its 2022 average level.

We will continue to monitor the corridor into Vancouver and provide updates on trends we’re seeing.

Check out last week’s freight rail capacity report. 

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